Tag Archives: Youth

The Illusion of Individualism

The people who believe “crime” is an individual act are still trapped in the illusion of individualism. They are unwilling to see their responsibility in the situation and that until society is healed crime will be a problem and incarceration will increase.

 

Furthermore, the profit motive of the prison industrial complex only serves to interrupt the process of seeking alternatives to incarcerating youth.

 

Blaming and punishing youth, whom it is our responsibility to socialize, for our failure to properly instruct them and providing them an environment in which they can thrive is wrong. That is blame-shifting and it is destroying the fabric of our society.

 

One of the biggest problems the illusion of individualism has create is the destruction of our human necessity for interdependence. One of the factors is simply the size of our society because its very structure denies participation on a level that is necessary to foster interdependence. In a civilization that is so disparate and where participation so minimal the agency and control by people over their environment is fleeting at best. Major corporations are also culprits in this regard. When I refer to creating an environment conducive to the development of youth, I am thinking about an environment that has a foundation of interdependence. When your neighbor is the one growing the food you eat, and you are producing the tools they need to farm it creates a motivation to not harm those we depend upon for survival. Intra-communal violence and harm are reduced by necessity and when the people simultaneously may express more control and agency over their own environments many of the other factors that lead into “crime” are averted. The people will have more time and opportunity to socialize the youth and can elect the method and manner in which they are socialize them that is localized to the needs of the community, not standardized to an entire civilization in a manner that may have no meaning to the youth.

 

Individualism, hierarchical systems of power and control, and agency are the major factors to the ills of our society, and as such, are the major component of the prison industrial complex and why most Amerikans are afraid to even consider an alternative to incarceration. Furthermore, the indoctrination that most Amerikans have received systematically denies the very type of shift we need to occur, and thus, they deny the evolution our society needs in order to thrive healthily.

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Hip-Hop Helps Reconciliation in Northern Uganda

Today, there are young people who did not experience the war. Together with national and regional artistes, we can motivate the young generation and improve their talents. We believe that hip-hop can unite everyone no matter what their age

~B Boy Skater George

 

After over two decades of war,

Northern Uganda Hip-hop Culture (NUHC) is working to foster reconciliation amongst indigenous communities in the northern part of the country. With outreach activities, NUHC uses hip-hop to promote harmony and understanding.

nuhc-1

  • NUHC is a non-profit organization which coordinates, educates children and adults in the community.
  • Northern Uganda Hip-hop Culture (NUHC) is an association which unites rappers, break-dancers, graffiti artistes, art and fashion creators, producers and young farmers from the northern region.
  • It was founded in 07th June 2010, with the aim of transforming the lives of young people in northern Uganda, an area which suffered greatly during the civil war, which left the region lagging behind other parts of the country.
  • NUHC offers free lessons and uses the Kitgum Youth Centre for training. Its members regularly conduct community outreach activities in various parts of northern Uganda.

Finance and Materials are needed for:

  • Accommodation
  • Food
  • Transportation
  • Cameras
  • Computers
  • Speakers
  • Microphones
  • Carpets (for Break Dancing)
  • Miscellaneous Supplies

The funding and materials raised for NUHC

will be used to help them continue and extend their work. 

NUHC hosts events during the year

and the organization requires funds to rent venues and sound systems,

for T-shirt printing, and hosting performers and artists.


I will be collecting the money and supplies that are donated.

To donate money for NUHC please follow this link

https://www.paypal.me/renaissancethepoet

and note “#NUHC”

To make a donation of supplies please email me at

renaissancethepoet@gmail.com

and I will provide information on how and where they can be sent


 

Northern Uganda Hip-Hop Culture (NUHC) Background and Mission

 

nuhc-2At NUHC, young learners are taught classes in break-dancing, skating, rapping and graffiti. Through yearly events and weekly classes, participants develop leadership and communication skills. Stories are shared about the war as well as the organization’s aims of peace, unity and love in the communities, villages and throughout the entire world.

“Many people’s hearts and minds are still scarred by their experiences in the war. Music can help to bring everyone together. That is why we are using these activities to spread the hip-hop culture to the young generation,” said Okurut George (aka B Boy Skater George), who teaches break-dance, and is one of the NUHC organizers.

We tell stories about the war because many people still hold hatred to their friends, relatives, brothers and sisters in their hearts. Expressing their feelings helps the healing and hip-hop music can assist this process,” B Boy Skater George added.

During the war, communities and families were displaced, famine was widespread, outbreaks of diseases and people had to live in, Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) Camps. These were camps that protected people from rebel attacks. Thousands of people died during the war period. Homes, farmland and animals were abandoned which lead to bitter land disputes. Children dropped out of schools and were forced to join rebel armies. The children who refused to join the rebel armies were killed. Girls were forced into early marriages, raped and/or defiled which resulted in large numbers of young mothers. The level of education in the northern region has been significantly reduced for all children.

 

Alcohol in Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Northern Uganda

nuhc-3

Studies among people living in camps in wartorn northern and eastern Uganda indicate that alcoholism is a common problem among the internally displaced populations (IDPs). While most of the pers
ons consuming alcohol are men, it is reported that, increasing proportions of women and adolescents are also drinking alcohol (Barton and Wamai, 1994)8. Women and girls who brew alcohol often ask young children to sell it, thus introducing children as young as 8 years to the drinking alcohol. This is facilitated by mothers giving alcohol to children as medicine because of the cultural belief that alcohol cures coughs and worms among young children. A recent report by MacDonald in 2007 on substance use in conflict-affected areas and IDPs in Gulu, Kitgum and Pader Districts9 highlights a situation of serious alcohol use in the IDP camps of northern Uganda. This situation is attributed to the 20-year insurgency in Acholi land, the lack of security, social displacement, and confinement in cramped, crowded and unsanitary camps and lack of employment. Such conflict-related factors as well as associated problems like HIV/AIDS and other STIs greatly increase the possibility of substance misuse. Macdonald noted that the main gap in service provision for substance users and affected others is the lack of capacity of healthcare and social service providers in the camps to effectively reduce risk taking and facilitate harm reduction services in community settings. Problems of substance abuse, particularly alcohol-related sexual gender-based violence (SGBV), are acknowledged in the camps but very little is done to address these issues or develop interventions relating specifically to the excessive consumption of alcohol.

nuhc-4Oryema Geoffrey (aka B Boy Message), who works as a teacher with George explained, “Although the war ended in 2007, the memories still haunt people. That is why we are using hip-hop to spread a culture which shows that peace, unity and love can lead to success in everything. We may have lost our homes, family members and friends during the war, but now is the time to move on from the past and learn to forgive each other. Being in a long period of strife does not mean that your life and dreams are over.”

 Alcohol and young people

The patterns of alcohol consumption among the youth show signs of cultural influence. Most tribes have a culture of brewing alcohol in homes thus exposing the youth to alcohol at an early age. As young people reach adolescence, alcohol consumption increases due to
peer pressure. The study revealed that young people prefer strong local spirinuhc-5ts which are easily accessible in miniature sachets at very low prices. Young people also engage in binge drinking during public events and parties, at most of which local companies sell alcohol at discounted prices. By age 21 many young people stop drinking, because there is a lot experimental usage before this stage. Limited information about harmful use of alcohol, desire to indulge in sexual activities, peer pressure, stress, poverty and unemployment have caused many young people to continue drinking. This is at times sporadic and may result in accidental poisoning or drowning at beaches as has been reported in the local press.

Today, there are young people who did not experience the war. Together with national and regional artistes, we can motivate the young generation and improve their talents. We believe that hip-hop can unite everyone no matter what their age

~B Boy Skater George


 

 To Contact the Organizers or See More about NUHC

 

WordPress: https://nuhculture.wordpress.com/

 https://www.facebook.com/nuhculture/

Video: Northern Hiphop Camp 2015

In the News:

https://thepollinationproject.org/grants-awarded/leah-walkowski-and-mwaka-benson-northern-uganda-hiphop-culture/

Young Leaders Press conference, “Breaking the Green Ceiling”

This morning Got Green held a press conference in front of the King County Juvenile, notorious for destroying the lives of young people of color, fighting for rights and opportunities for our community’s youth. The press conference was focused in particular on green internships and gaps in access to sustainable living alternatives for our urban youth.

Speaking and Performing at the press conference this morning were:

Carlynn Newhouse, Youth Speaks Poet

Rashad Johnson, Poet / Performer

Mo!, Got Green, Program Organizer for the Young Leaders in the Green Economy project

Lylianna Allala, Environmental Professionals of Color (EPOC)

Lisa Chen, Executive Director of Food Empowerment Education Sustainability (FEEST)

Mike O’Brien Seattle City Council Member

Green jobs and internships are vitally important to our society because the world we want to live in will not simply materialize, rather, we must live our lives in such a way as to bring it about and, green jobs and internships are one part of that process. Furthermore, because green internships are socially responsible and engaging, providing them for our urban youth will not only provide sustainable and rewarding alternatives to less desirable activities and outcomes, it will also instruct our youth about how to construct and consume responsibly, and how to utilize and maintain community relationships to build the future we desire while providing the resources and services our city and its people need today.

The Youth are engaged, knowledgeable and making moves to ensure their own futures. And at least some of our elected officials are actively engaged in making resources available for our youth to participate in green internships and thus, benefiting the broader community.

GotGreen? Released a Press Release this morning prior to the press conference:

“FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 5, 2015

Contact: Murphy Stack, 206.466.7712, murphy@gotgreen.org

New Report finds a “Green” Glass Ceiling for Seattle’s Young Workers of Color

Community Leaders Calling for Green Paid Internships

SEATTLE–Today, Got Green’s “Young Leaders” released a new report that identifies access challenges for young workers of

color who want to pursue “green” career pathways and calls on elected officials and public agencies to invest in paid

internships that can provide an entry into these fields.

The report, “Breaking the Green Ceiling: Investing in Young Workers of Color, Paid Environmental Internships, Career

Pathways,“ is part of Got Green’s Green Pathways Campaign, which advocates for creating more career pathways to

leadership positions for young people of color that will benefit our communities and the environment. The term “green ceiling”

refers to the 16% cap of people of color employed in green fields including, foundations, non-profits, government agencies.

Community partners – Environmental Professionals of Color, Youth Speaks, The Washington Bus, and Food Empowerment

Education Sustainability Team (FEEST) joined Got Green’s Young Leaders to make the announcement outside the King

County Detention Center.

“There’s been a lot of talk lately about income gaps in our region, we need to move from conversations to action,” said Mo!

Avery, Got Green’s Young Leaders Organizer. “The Young Leaders chose the Youth Jail for the press conference to illustrate

where funds that could be used to invest in our youth are actually going. Rather than funding organizations that could train the

youth and give them valuable career skills to help uplift our communities, money is instead being poured into an institution that

often acts as a massive barrier to careers and upward mobility for young people of color.”

According to report findings, in many green industries, unpaid internships have become a replacement for entry-level, paid

jobs. Unpaid internships create significant barriers for many young people of color who often cannot afford to work without

compensation. Instead, young workers of color find minimum wage jobs with no career trajectory and limited employment

skills, making it even more difficult to pursue meaningful work for our communities and environment.

Got Green applauds the Mayor’s recently announced Youth Employment Initiative that will create 2000 new jobs. This is a

move in the right direction that Got Green is working to build off of. Got Green’s recommendations from the report include;

expand the definition and number of “green” paid work experience opportunities which we define as good for the environment

and our communities at the same time; do targeted outreach to young adults of color to increase racial diversity in the

environmental jobs field; develop systems to help young adults move into career pathways.

“Seattle is a leader in climate action, but falls short on equity measures, we risk leaving behind the young adults who can help

us maintain that leadership role tomorrow. The investment in a brighter future and a healthier planet begins with investing in

the empowerment of the youth of color,” said Laurie Torres, Got Green Young Leader.

###”

~GotGreen?

Rappers Equal Nerds

Rappers = Nerds

 

The Real World

 

Collegiate Rapper

 

I took a hiatus from making music while I became acclimated to life at the University of Washington, but the wheels are up and I am taking off!

What I have been learning has influenced the creation of a new project titled “Rappers = Nerds.” The premise underlying the project is that anyone can achieve success, regardless of where they have come from or where they intend to go.

My hope is that I will be able to share with people, especially teenagers and young adults how success can be achieved in high school, college, universities or the professional atmosphere of careers. Furthermore, by using the prestige I have earned as an accomplished emcee and poet will help to grab and hold their attention long enough to be a positive influence in their lives and the decisions they will make.

To achieve this, I will be using Hip-Hop and Spoken Word as the initial means to transmit these messages because they are the mediums that people both enjoy listening to and learning from. This seems to be a very likely way to bridge the gap between academia and success, and those who believe that college and a professional life is not for them. In addressing the issue of being successful, several of my songs seek to shatter many of the stereotypes that face minority groups in the United States of America.

RappersEqualNerds” is part of a campaign to change the paradigm of what Signithi Fordham and John Ogbu termed “Oppositional Identity,” whereby it is not cool, or right for minorities, especially those who are indigent or poor to be intelligent and to excel in academic or professional environments.

I am hopeful  that teachers and mentors will be able to use this material to break through the communication barriers they confront with adolescents that are difficult to reach. If and when, teachers and mentors find that words and speeches in classrooms and mentoring sessions alone are inadequate to transmit the message that success is both possible for their students and that they deserve it, then maybe a hip hop song or spoken word piece can.

The album will be featuring such artists as K.O. Nikkita, the renowned spoken word and slam artist, and host of the infamous The Seattle SlamReady Ron of the Impossiblez; Mark HoyProject RZ; Edward Lamar Hoey Jr.; Mamma Nikki of Over Mediocre, DJ Rise and many others.

All of the music created for this project will be distributed free of charge and are available for streaming live on SoundCloud and Reverbnation. I do not believe that this type of beneficial information should come at a cost to anyone.

The final component of this project is creating a curriculum of seminars and workshops  to be brought into schools and mentoring programs. For an example of the type of material that will be covered in these discussion please take a look at the background Renaissance has prepared for his song titled, “Turn the Day Into the Night,” at the following link:

I encourage any and all teachers, mentors and even parents to draw from this material when you are finding it difficult to reach and inspire an individual or group you are working with. You are welcome to use any materials that I have posted, which includes the essays or photographs, if the intention is to benefit those you are working with and the is not a profit associated with its use. You may even send me a request on my Facebook Page to come and speak to the people you are working with.